Delhi Court Dismisses Youtuber Gaurav Taneja’s Suit Against Alleged Defamatory Article Published By Mint Newspaper

Gaurav Taneja Law Insider

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: June 8, 2022 at 20:46 IST

The suit filed by Youtuber Gaurav Taneja, also known as “Flying Beast,” and his wife Ritu Rathee against an allegedly defamatory article published by the Mint newspaper on May 8, 2022, was rejected by a Delhi Court.

The case was rejected by Tis Hazari Courts Civil Judge Anurag Chhabra, who noted that the plaintiffs had merely stated that the article was defamatory in nature against them without mentioning the portions of the article in the plaint that showed how the same was defamatory.

However the Court was of the opinion that, the plaintiffs shall prove before the court that the said articles are defamatory in nature and only then Article 19 (2) comes into picture.” Also, it is difficult to separate public figures’ private lives from their public lives.

The alleged article, titled “Shouldn’t brands stop supporting sordid influencers?” was published after Taneja shared a photo on Twitter of himself performing ‘havan’ according to the Hindu rituals and traditions.

Taneja had focused on the importance of ‘havan’ as a natural remedy to pollution in the aforementioned photograph. As a result, the lawsuit claimed that the article was written in a derogatory and disparaging manner about Taneja and his wife, causing their image and reputation to suffer.

The plaintiffs sought a mandatory injunction against the defendants, ordering them to delete or remove defamatory articles from their profile or any other website where the allegedly defamatory material was published against them.

The Court stated at the outset that, “the plaintiffs should have sought declaratory relief from the court in order to have the publications declared defamatory in nature qua the plaintiffs.”

“The court is of the opinion that the plaint does not disclose cause of action as the plaintiffs have not sought the relief of declaration from the court and the relief of mandatory and permanent injunction sought by the plaintiffs are dependent upon the adjudication of the aspect whether the said articles are defamatory in nature or not,” the Court observed.

As a result, the lawsuit was rejected. The application filed under CPC Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 was likewise dismissed by the court.

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